Small South Carolina towns abound with food-centered festivals. For Pelion, it’s the annual Peanut Party.
Nov. 3-4. 951 Pine St., Pelion. facebook.com/pelionpeanutparty.
Small South Carolina towns abound with food-centered festivals.
For Pelion, it’s the annual Peanut Party.
“Our town was predominantly known for [peanut] crops and [peanut] farmers. In the ‘80s, someone came up with an idea,” said Pelion Peanut Party Chair Amy McDonald.
That idea has been the centerpiece event for the small Lexington County town since 1982 — losing just one year in that span, to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. McDonald has served as the event’s chair since 2017, guiding the event which uses funds raised to give back to area youth.
“We’re a small community and a small network but we do the best we can with what we have,” she said. “Our mayor tells us all the time, ‘This is our Mayberry.’”
The festival uses the money it generates to give out two scholarships, an academic scholarship for a Pelion High student and a tradesman scholarship for someone to go the non-college route after high school. The amount depends on the money raised, but for the past couple years, each recipient has $1,000.
“Throughout the 42 years, we’ve given out about $50,000 worth of scholarships,” McDonald said. “Our festival solely depends on donations.”
In addition the scholarships awarded from the Peanut Party, the Pelion Ruritan Club and the Pelion Women’s Club also awards scholarships to Pelion High students from money they raise. Both organizations are vital to the festival and the community, McDonald enthused.
There are also other Pelion groups that are a part of the festival, including the local American Legion group, the Kindness Club and the Pelion High Future Farmers of America group. That FFA club grows all the peanuts sold at the festival.
She went on to say that the FFA group has done this for the past couple of years and grows a crop on at least a few acres of land in the area.
In addition to the locally grown peanuts, there will be a slew of events Friday night through Saturday. It all kicks off with the Blessing of the Pots, in which a local pastor blesses the pots that will boil the festival’s legumes. There are also amusement rides and karaoke Friday night.
Saturday kicks off with an 11 a.m. parade on Pine Street starting at the Pelion library. There is also a car show, array of vendors, amusement rides, and art exhibit from Pelion students. Boy Scouts Troop 3327 will have s’mores and there will be Bingo starting at 4:30 p.m. The night ends with fireworks at 7:30 p.m.
Throughout the afternoon Saturday there will also be five musical artists playing on the festival’s stage — Rhythmics Performing Arts Rhythm, Latwanna Rachelle Flake, Cody Webb, Warren Peay and Becca Bowen.
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